As a GeneralRule,
Lotteries are Illegal
Sect. 849.09. Lottery prohibited; exceptions
(1) It is unlawful for any person in this state to:
(a) Set up, promote, or conduct any lottery for money or for anything of value;
(b) Dispose of any money or other property of any kind whatsoever by means of any lottery;
(c) Conduct any lottery drawing for the distribution of a prize or prizes by lot or chance, or advertise any such lottery scheme or device in any newspaper or by circulars, posters, pamphlets, radio, telegraph, telephone, or otherwise;
(d) Aid or assist in the setting up, promoting, or conducting of any lottery or lottery drawing, whether by writing, printing, or in any other manner whatsoever, or be interested in or connected in any way with any lottery or lottery drawing;
(e) Attempt to operate, conduct, or advertise any lottery scheme or device;
(f) Have in her or his possession any lottery wheel, implement, or device whatsoever for conducting any lottery or scheme for the disposal by lot or chance of anything of value;
(g) Sell, offer for sale, or transmit, in person or by mail or in any other manner whatsoever, any lottery ticket, coupon, or share, or any share in or fractional part of any lottery ticket, coupon, or share, whether such ticket, coupon, or share represents an interest in a live lottery not yet played or whether it represents, or has represented, an interest in a lottery that has already been played;
(h) Have in her or his possession any lottery ticket, or any evidence of any share or right in any lottery ticket, or in any lottery scheme or device, whether such ticket or evidence of share or right represents an interest in a live lottery not yet played or whether it represents, or has represented, an interest in a lottery that has already been played;
(i) Aid or assist in the sale, disposal, or procurement of any lottery ticket, coupon, or share, or any right to any drawing in a lottery;
(j) Have in her or his possession any lottery advertisement, circular, poster, or pamphlet, or any list or schedule of any lottery prizes, gifts, or drawings; or
(k) Have in her or his possession any so-called “run down sheets,” tally sheets, or other papers, records, instruments, or paraphernalia designed for use, either directly or indirectly, in, or in connection with, the violation of the laws of this state prohibiting lotteries and gambling.
Provided, that nothing in this section shall prohibit participation in any nationally advertised contest, drawing, game or puzzle of skill or chance for a prize or prizes unless it can be construed as a lottery under this section; and, provided further, that this exemption for national contests shall not apply to any such contest based upon the outcome or results of any horserace, harness race, dograce, or jai alai game.
(2) Any person who is convicted of violating any of the provisions of paragraph (a), paragraph (b), paragraph (c), or paragraph (d) of subsection (1) is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(3) Any person who is convicted of violating any of the provisions of paragraph (e), paragraph (f), paragraph (g), paragraph (i), or paragraph (k) of subsection (1) is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Any person who, having been convicted of violating any provision thereof, thereafter violates any provision thereof is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. The provisions of this section do not apply to bingo as provided for in s. 849.0931.
(4) Any person who is convicted of violating any of the provisions of paragraph (h) or paragraph (j) of subsection (1) is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Any person who, having been convicted of violating any provision thereof, thereafter violates any provision thereof is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
But, There is a Limited
Exception for Nonprofits
Sec. 849.0935 Charitable, nonprofit organizations; drawings by chance; required disclosures; unlawful acts and practices; penalties.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) "Drawing by chance" or "drawing" means an enterprise in which, from the entries submitted by the public to the organization conducting the drawing, one or more entries are selected by chance to win a prize. The term "drawing" does not include those enterprises, commonly known as "matching," "instant winner," or "preselected sweepstakes," which involve the distribution of winning numbers, previously designated as such, to the public.
(b) "Organization" means an organization which is exempt from federal income taxation pursuant to 26 U.S.C. s. 501(c)(3), (4), (7), (8), (10), or (19), and which has a current determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service, and its bona fide members or officers.
(2) The provisions of s. 849.09 shall not be construed to prohibit an organization qualified under 26 U.S.C. s. 501(c)(3), (4), (7), (8), (10), or (19) from conducting drawings by chance pursuant to the authority granted by this section, provided the organization has complied with all applicable provisions of chapter 496.
(3) All brochures, advertisements, notices, tickets, or entry blanks used in connection with a drawing by chance shall conspicuously disclose:
(b) The full name of the organization and its principal place of business.
(c) The source of the funds used to award cash prizes or to purchase prizes.
(d) The date, hour, and place where the winner will be chosen and the prizes will be awarded, unless the brochures, advertisements, notices, tickets, or entry blanks are not offered to the public more than 3 days prior to the drawing.
(e) That no purchase or contribution is necessary.
(a) To design, engage in, promote, or conduct any drawing in which the winner is predetermined by means of matching, instant win, or preselected sweepstakes or otherwise or in which the selection of the winners is in any way rigged;
(b) To require an entry fee, donation, substantial consideration, payment, proof of purchase, or contribution as a condition of entering the drawing or of being selected to win a prize. However, this provision shall not prohibit an organization from suggesting a minimum donation or from including a statement of such suggested minimum donation on any printed material utilized in connection with the fundraising event or drawing;
(c) To condition the drawing on a minimum number of tickets having been disbursed to contributors or on a minimum amount of contributions having been received;
(d) To arbitrarily remove, disqualify, disallow, or reject any entry or to discriminate in any manner between entrants who gave contributions to the organization and those who did not give such contributions;
(e) To fail to promptly notify, at the address set forth on the entry blank, any person, whose entry is selected to win, of the fact that he or she won;
(f) To fail to award all prizes offered;
(g) To print, publish, or circulate literature or advertising material used in connection with the drawing which is false, deceptive, or misleading;
(h) To cancel a drawing; or
(i) To condition the acquisition or giveaway of any prize upon the receipt of voluntary donations or contributions.
(5) The organization conducting the drawing may limit the number of tickets distributed to each drawing entrant.
(6) A violation of this section is a deceptive and unfair trade practice.
(7) Any organization which engages in any act or practice in violation of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. However, any organization or other person who sells or offers for sale in this state a ticket or entry blank for a raffle or other drawing by chance, without complying with the requirements of paragraph (3)(d), is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable by fine only as provided in s. 775.083.
(8) This section does not apply to the state lottery operated pursuant to chapter 24.